Gatare, I., Buesa, J., Thienpont, H. et al. Opt Quant Electron (2006) 38: 429. doi:10.1007/s11082-006-0041-6
Bistability as well as dynamics associated to polarization switching in a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) submitted to orthogonal optical injection from an external master laser are investigated. Intensity-polarization switching bistability is studied by increasing and decreasing the intensity of the injected beam and for a fixed frequency detuning, i.e. the frequency offset between master and the free running VCSEL. Depending on the frequency detuning, bistable switching is experimentally found to occur with or without injection locking of the fundamental mode to the master laser frequency. For large positive detuning, injection locking of the first-order transverse mode with a strong depression of the fundamental mode has been observed. The case of frequency – polarization switching bistability, i.e. when the frequency detuning is first decreased and then increased for a fixed injected power, has also been theoretically analyzed. Qualitative comparison with previous experimental work is presented for the dependence of the width of the bistable switching region on the injection strength level. Finally we show an experimental result of complicated dynamics including period doubling route to chaos that accompany polarization switching and which motivates future theoretical investigations.